White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface “To Raise Awareness”

Be prepared to be stunned, confused and outraged.

A white woman has sparked an online backlash after Photoshopping images of her face on to women from Africa.

Boglarka Balogh, from Nyíregyháza, Hungary, who claims to be a journalist and human rights lawyer says the anger over her photos showed how a ‘good-hearted project can turn out [to be] something negative due to ignorance and guilt from the past and history.’

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"

The 34-year-old who has been accused of cultural appropriation and ‘blackface’ says she aimed to highlight the tribes of Africa which are ‘fading away.’

She posted the images on submissions site Bored Panda where they were viewed more than 212,000 times before Boglarka deleted the controversial post.

Boglarka claimed she has since received encouraging letters from women all over the world – (including black women) and doesn’t see what she has done that is so wrong.

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"

She said: ‘What I have done with this project I would have never imagined that I am touching such a hot topic, surely not the unfair negativity that I am receiving.’

‘I have to be honest with you I feel a little bit silly that I have to explain myself, my good intention, my art work for the people with negative feedback, as [if] I would have done something terrible.’

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"
Csaba Szábó/Borglarka Balogh

Boglarka says she was inspired to transform herself into a black woman after traveling through African countries.

She says during her time in ‘various African countries she became fully aware of the issues regarding a number of endangered tribes, and the speed at which they are fading away’.

Borglarka says the portraits show ‘how beauty varies across the globe and prove that all of us are beautiful in a different way.’

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"
Csaba Szábó/Borglarka Balogh

She created the images working with graphic artist Csaba Szábó to incorporate her own image onto portraits of members of the Wodaabe, Daasanach, Arbore, Mursi, Turkana, Karo and Himba communities.

She also included the population size of each tribe. Despite the extreme backlash to her photos, Balogh is still planning to go to Africa where she will be writing about human rights issues.

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"
Csaba Szábó/Borglarka Balogh

Borglarka says she wants to campaign for people in Ethiopia ‘where white people are trying to convince the black government to sell the tribal people’s land.’

‘I think that is a little bit [of a] bigger issue than my photographs.’ 

Despite her protests, she has still deleted her images from the submissions site Bored Panda: ‘Since I had no intentions to offend anyone and yet I’m not able to answer to all of you, I’ve decided to delete my post.’

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"
Csaba Szábó/Borglarka Balogh

‘My intention was 100 per cent pure with this tribal art, being a human rights lawyer and journalist who knows pretty much about racism and similar issues, I have never imagined that my work will annoy so many people and that I will have to explain myself.’

‘And sure, I will not do that. Keep calm and love every human.’

But one woman who commented on the site claimed she was from the Turkana tribe in Kenya and was offended by the images.

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"
Csaba Szábó/Borglarka Balogh

The woman, who called herself Peace Wacheta, wrote on Bored Panda:

‘As a Turkana woman and considering that most of the African tribes you mention come from people I call friends and family, I am absolutely appalled at your nerve.’

‘How dare you! Have your never read of white privilege? Blackface? Cultural appropriation?

White Woman Causes Outrage After Dressing Up In Seven Types Of Blackface "To Raise Awareness"
Csaba Szábó/Borglarka Balogh

‘While we are out here being killed over our dark skins, being deemed inferior because of our cultures, you think being an African woman is a costume you get to put on and take off!’

‘These are not your people. This is not your history. Stay in your own lane.’

While @AmysGotMilk posted: ‘There are lots of ways to give voices to tribal women without performing blackface and silencing them in the act.’

@60ddess also pointed out she could have got an ‘actual black person’ to be morphed in the images.


Written by Christine Haveford

Christine loves all things cinema, and she's been that way ever since she was a little girl. In fact, she is so passionate about cinema that she decided to pursue cinematography as a full-time career, and is now pursuing film studies at the New York Film School. Originally from Florida, she is still exploring the new city, people, places, and the culture, loves the new weather, going ice skating during winters, and spending time with her fellow classmates and friends from college.

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  1. Saying she’s bad for what she’s doing, while actual black women from those countries are more likely to see a homage done, as was the actual intent, well, it’s just a wasteful use of social and political correctness. Bashing her is not bashing racists, it’s not bashing insensitive parody, it’s putting a damper on people who actively care and would speak about the dangers those African tribes face.

  2. Not the offended party’s culture. It’s Americans who are offended by the appropriation of this, not the tribes who aren’t getting asked their feelings about it. They’re likely to see it as an homage, especially if they were to read two sentences from the women who did this as to why.

    It’s not the Africans that won’t understand. It’s the anti-racism brigade. Which is a sad day indeed when the anti-racism and cultural protection group is actually ruining the party of people who actually give a damn, or live with said cultures.

  3. 100 years from now who’s photo do you think will be in the history books as to what we look like??? I see why you think you did nothing wrong and don’t have to explain your shit you call Art! But this is called plagiarism! You took something that was not yours and passed it off as your own weather it be for recognition, test pilot, or what you define as journalism, your shit still stinks!

  4. why not use a black model? because the message that being white and black is equally as important, and all customs need to be recognized and accepted would have not had the same impact if the model would have been black due to the visual juxtaposition created. One represents being white “western”, the idea is to create a visual juxtaposition to create awareness…

    “stay in your own lane” – how is everyone going to work together better if we continue with that type of mentality.

    • I’m sad it’s more about skin color than what her focus was. We want racism to end yet that is all anyone could see. I thought this was a great platform for her work.

    • Because, im a naturally red haired black person.
      Because my sister was born with green eyes.
      Because my cousin has blond hair.
      We are all black.
      You sound ignorant as the Fick.

    • @Leila Lee exactly, couldn’t agree with you more. When black women stop dyeing their hair blond, wearing other people’s hair/weaves/wigs, straightening their hair, bleaching their skin, wearing western/European clothing, wearing red lipstick, wearing colored lenses, getting nose jobs etc. then I’ll see the point of all the fury. Plus nowadays “sophisticated” Africans spend too much time ignoring village traditions and beauty practices and instead focus on designer or European/Western beauty/creations, at least this woman is promoting African beauty. She’s OK with me.

      • You are crazy, Africa will portray itself, it’s not 1 person but a continent.who the hell are you to think you can do this when you don’t even know shit about the traditions. Go make sure your own traditions that one doesn’t even know, doesn’t die . And for your information all those stuff you mentioned are what richer Africans have been doing before the white man knew what & where Africa was.from bleaching skin, straightening and dyeing hair etc and I remember it’s prostitutes in Africa that dye their hair blonde, if you most know sensible Africans would rather buy African designed clothes than the Western Wear cuz Africa and Asia has color .That crazy lady looks nothing like she is trying to do anything good , rubbish, tomorrow they will say they stated a black man’s traditions and dressing before him.Let her truly learn a real black man’s tradition,and see if she will last for one day, she will run .Better go learn your own traditions that’s if you really have before trying to say you are helping a whole race that has been in existence ,before you Africa and it’s traditions existed and will continue to.And you her supporters she looks nothing like those Black girls if you observe well.
        And for the racists or this lady’s supporters , power never stays in one place forever. If you were so civilized you would have stayed in your fucking civilized society instead of causing all sorts of wickedness in Africa,Asia, carribeans, Americaetc Is America a Caucasian’s land? Big No. That’s how you’ll go about helping instead say your stealing.
        And African Americans supporting her I don’t blame you, cuz if you understand the history you were taught in your schools you’ll know they can never really mean good for your knowledge of African history.Another person cannot tell you your history, only your own can.

  5. “Boglarka says she was inspired to transform herself into a black woman after traveling through African countries”

    They always want to be us, but never want to be us. These people are vile. Familiar with human leather? Made from “slaves” during slavery. This is a sickness, make no mistake. Anyone who wants to wear someone elses skin has mental issues and should be likened to the texas chainsaw massacre.

    • Ever hear of sources? No probably not. So in that vein, what about the African tribes who didn’t even have the wheel until the 1850s? What about all those African warlords who sold the men, women and children of the tribes they conquered into slavery? Slavery that was, in fact, mostly run by the Arab world. Did you know there are still African slaves being sold throughout the Arab world?

      You all bitch and moan about how evil and oppressive Europeans are, but we aren’t special. Any civilization, culture or tribe that has ever been even moderately successful has committed some atrocity or another against another group. It’s the nature of the natural world. You introduce frogs into Australia and they’ll take full advantage of the environment. We here in the West have at least put an end to slavery, and over the last 150 years here in America we’ve been building on that. But no, my people are evil simply because our technology was more advanced then others and we acted how every culture, no, every living thing would act in such a situation: we dominated. Boo fucking hoo.

      And you people wonder why people are reacting against you, or how Trump was elected. You kept shouting at us for years about how racist we were and are. I was raised in a generation that was taught we were all equal. I remember that little cartoon globe that had boys and girls from all over the world holding hands. I’ve had friends from middle eastern heritage, black heritage, Asian heritage, plenty of friends from Hispanic heritage, all because I was taught we’re all the same. Countless other European Americans raised just like me, and we’ve all been labelled racist and oppressive simply because of our heritage and skin color in spite of the fact that we all truly believed that everyone was equal.

      You fuckers want identity politics, well now you’ve got identity politics.

      In regards to the pictures, she could have just done a photoshoot of the actual tribe women. Her point was probably something along the lines of ‘we’re all the same’, but she forgets that the left eats itself. The pictures are just as distasteful as saying the future face of England is brown and mixed; leave cultures to determine for themselves.

    • ‘Human leather’? So were Jews in WW2-era Europe. There is no appropriation on evil. And is this woman wearing human leather? No? Then what is your point?

  6. What was wrong with using the photos AS THEY WERE…to “bring awareness”? Why was it necessary to superimpose her face…?

  7. I mean, she could’ve just got a Black friend to do it or hire a Black model. I don’t understand why she would use herself to mimic African tribal women. No matter the message behind the picture, the picture alone show mockery and/or mimicking of an actual Tribal woman. Like, okay, you want to raise awareness of African tribal woman, but, why use yourself, as a white woman–why not use a tribal woman in their element, since she claimed to be in Africa or an African woman… She knew what she was doing was Blackface, and she knew the history behind blackface, whether the message is positive or not, she still decides to dig into this sort of underline mockery and hatred Black people face, when it comes to the societal imagery of them. There are other means of going about spreading awareness, and I don’t see how using yourself to mimic an African Tribal woman is spreading awareness, just don’t understand.

    • Hear ye, hear ye! Hence forth no member of any ethnicity shall play the role of another ethnicity in any media production! Anything less is cultural appropriation!

  8. The fact that people are actually upset about this…Be upset about that fact that these tribes are dying, be angry with the foolishness on the news, be mad that these tribes are not on the news and there are not the amount of people that their could be to help in their time of need.People took a need noticed by an individual and found a way to twist it because she was one race and would twist it even if she was the other race.

  9. I just don’t understand what she was trying to do here. How is this bringing awareness? What was the context of these images? Did they come with a description? Why did she have to put herself into the photos at all? Why weren’t the images of the actual people enough? I just don’t get it.


  11. I don’t understand the outrage. I’m a black woman and this just shows we are beautiful whether black or white. It wasn’t aimed to be disrespectful. I find it enlightening.

  12. Get over it…suck it up! Comedians have been doing this for decades whites painting their faces black… blacks painting their faces white…. when Eddie Murphy did it on Saturday Night Live and Coming to America , and the Wayan brothers did it in White Chicks everyone thought it was funny… enough crying already !

    • When the comedians did it that was for fun in white chicks that was just a movie to disguise themselves as two white women. But in this scenario this women was trying to raise awareness. I don’t nt know how she was doing that by putting herself in those pictures she couldve just used African models to raise awareness. She couldve actually just wrote a paragraph or more about her awareness and put a hashtag like #AfricanWomenAwareness #AWA #SaveEthiopia’sLand #SEL

  13. Get over it…suck it up! Comedians have been doing this for decades whites painting their faces black… blacks painting their faces white…. when Eddie Murphy did it on Saturday Night Live and Coming to America , and the Wayan brothers did it in White Chicks everyone thought it was funny… enough crying already ! The world about to be tossed into another global war and this is all we can talk about?

  14. I think the woman should be judged for her motives which were admirable.. black people should be proud of their heritage and stop finding racism under every rug …

  15. I think the lady should be judged for her motive which was people should be proud of their heritage and stop finding racism where there is none.

  16. I don’t understand how superimposing her face gets the message across more clear. To raise awareness of these disappearing tribes, we would’ve understood if the real women were used for the photos. Not to mention, the women from the tribes have distinct features differentiating them from each other, but you can’t see that because it’s just her face in every photo.

  17. It starts out as just one single white woman dressing like different native African women in different tribes and people around the world say nothing about it . And 30 years later American history will say white people discovered this style of native clothes from Africa and blacks are copping off of them . putting it on the market selling it on the web with a Patten Arresting any black women that did not by it from her company . That got it from Africa , they made a movie of white Egyptians and no one said any thing . Now whites took over the history calling the Egyptians white people . And calling blacks pro blacks that complain about whites steeling our black history . Jesus never was a white blond hair blue eyes man . He also was a full blood black man including the Egyptians where black . Even they American history books putting black slaves down as immigrants . Immigrants are free people working for money that was not USA citizens . The western way of life is destroying Africans love for they dark skin color and culture and history . We are the only race that live in America that do not know our tribes and different Native tribes of languages . Every time you see a black American person on jobs are on the streets that try to talk to Africans from over sea’s large groups of whites attack them with hate speeches calling American blacks criminals . That is very common in the USA . To separate and degrade us teaching Africans Americans in USA schools that all blacks living in Africa have Aids and poor with no education . This is the biggest lie in American history books

  18. One: The original photos were beautiful and needed no alteration to show the beauty of these women. Two: Don’t ever tell black people to ‘get over it’ or ‘suck it up”, it’s condescending and rude. Three: I wonder if she thought they were beautiful before they were all wearing her face? Four: Black women wear blonde wigs and color contacts because we are all told that we need to adhere to the European ideals of beauty, we’re told all the time to fix the kinky hair, our natural braids, curls, kinks and locks are even forbidden in many schools and the law states that businesses can ban braids and locks and refuse to hire anyone wearing them and it’s not discrimination. Brave black women are fighting for the right to wear their natural hair in uniform, because the armed services has banned them too. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.

  19. Beautifully done!! This is excellent, I love the idea behind it, she demonstrate excellent skills in photoshop. I’m proud of our African heritage. For me what this signifies that is that we are all the same inside no matter what skin envelope colours covers us. I don’t know what the fuss is about, whoever is offended should take a chill pill and just enjoy the art and the idea behind it!

  20. This is stupid she just trying to show different people all the beauty in yall turning it around you dummy see thats whats wrong with people (black) always looking for something to get mad for fuck that how bout stop acting like little kids and grow the hell up for real aint no body got time for it

  21. Alright, my question is that this story is from January 2016. It’s still relevant of course, but why make it seem like this happened just now? It doesn’t slide well, is it now we are taking stories from the past just to get people to read? Eh, regardless, we can learn from our past and blah blah blah, but this is just cheap. Why didn’t you go ahead and interview the people that she was trying to represent or the people she took a pictures of? IDK, Boglarka still looks atrocious and she couldn’t have been that stupid to think there was nothing wrong with it. She should’ve realized the negative backlash she would’ve received due to her black face. It’s disgusting.

  22. OMG. Get over it. Stop finding racism hidden inside of everything put on the internet. There are racist people out there, for sure. This woman is probably not one. Trying to emulate a black person, to show their beauty is not racist. If she were to paint her face black and be dressed up using stereotypes about black people, that is racist. There is a thick line between the two, maybe get some glasses so you can see it.

  23. Her artwork is so beautiful! We are all one race, we all come from Adam and Eve, just as the Bible says. Science is only now catching up!

      • The biggest compliment is when you dress up in the culture of another person. If someone wore my country’s national outfit or put on makeup to look like my people I would be proud, because it means that my culture stands out and is admired. People here are to dumb to realise what effort she put in to raise awareness, they are only concerned with shallow themes like skin colour.

        The point of her work is to show how black and white people aren’t different, we are only separated by skin colour. Are people that stupid not to understand her message?

  24. Hmm. This is a very interesting post.
    At first I was intrigued to see her face superimposed on any other face in a different culture because of the unusual style. That’s what got my attention. I think that was her point and apparently it worked.
    If she had just kept the lovely original faces, I would not have noticed as much because it was not strange.
    If she did keep the original faces, her point would have been made in SOLIDARITY with the women she is representing.
    However, the message changes with her face superimposed as she becomes the focal point, her cause, her plight and the women she represents become victims to save thus UN-EMPOWERING them.

    I don’t think she meant to do this, I have seen this kind of art before, it is intriguing. There is a video on youtube with this done with many different races and cultures. It is unifying. If she had seen this as “black face” she would be hurting her own message to begin with. What she didn’t expect or understand is that the wound of racism is raw, and that black people have had the burden of hurt and the resulting anger to manage on a daily basis.
    Her response to all the backlash is what kills her cause. She probably is responding defensively because of the anger aimed at her, but her response shows that she hasn’t been able to peer through the anger in order to understand what the people are trying to say to her.
    I wish we would all be more gentle with each other.
    Her intention was not to harm but to bring awareness in order to stand beside her fellow human beings. The backlash is real and important, as racism has done its harm and continues to do so.
    Mercy. We need to listen more, understand more, and maybe the wounds will heal with an attitude of respect.

  25. @Anglo you really need to study history, real history. Black people were the first people on earth. We were Adam and Eve and everyone came from us. Pick up some real books of history from an actual library, not your word of mouth nonsense.

  26. She should’ve just used the original photos there was honestly no good reason for her to transform herself into these women. She tried to show the beauty of vanishing tribes by vanishing them with her own face? It’s not hard to understand why people are upset.

  27. “…who claims to be a journalist and human rights lawyer…”

    Christine- a true journalist does not let their feelings spill over into their work. The only claim to journalism I see here is your own writing! Don’t make up the readers’ minds for them.

  28. I’m no fan of cultural appropriation. In this case….one of the issues she was trying to address was that African people were being replaced and/or wiped out by white people. So, if it ticks you off that white people are replacing them in pictures, it should absolutely INFURIATE you that it’s happening to real people, in real life, in alarmingly high numbers. I mean, that’s kind of what I took as the point. I don’t know if that was the intention, but that’s what I got out of it.

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